Saturday, June 23, 2007

Dove Drama

Things here are pretty slow. With afternoon temps soaring above the 100º mark, slow has become the only way to move.
This morning while walking around the yard with our Schnauzer Bailey, *Bailey being his usual bird killing sweet self, pounced on a baby dove. Fortunately, he didn't crunch it when he picked it up in his mouth, instead, he dropped it at my feet as I requested (in a shriek that probably woke up the whole neighborhood). I picked up the drool dampened baby bird and inspected it for damage, finding none, I put the baby on a limb in one of our Mulberry trees. As morning progressed we kept an eye on the tree to see if the baby's parents would find their lost baby and sure enough they did. If we hadn't seen their behavior, we wouldn't have believed the joy expressed by Mama and Papa Dove when they discovered their baby was safe and sound. They greeted him with coos and murmurs as they stroked his feathers and fed him. They nudged him to a secure spot in the tree and then spent the entire day nurturing and reassuring him as they made trips back and forth to feed him. Each time one of the parents approached the baby, he would wrap his wings around the parent and hold it until he was fed, in turn, the doting parents would put a wing over the baby dove and stroke its feathers...quite a moving and amazing sight to see.
*To play devil's advocate a bit...Schnauzers were bred for their ability to use their noses to sniff out and destroy rodents. In the absence of rodents, Bailey will seek out lizards and birds as an alternative. Not his fault, it's in his genes.
Baby Dove is doing just fine. This morning he's beginning to fly around a bit. He's not fearful of me when I walk up to him to take a picture. It looks like he'll make it. Hopefully after escaping the jaws of the Schnauzer, he'll be careful about other, more wild predators. 
Here's his picture taken this morning.